Legal Q&A: Is it Safe to create an LPA?

Q. I have heard that it is not safe to create a Lasting Power of Attorney.  Is that true? 

A. I think you either heard BBC’s Today Programme aired on Radio 4 on 15 August 2017 or read an article about it.

During the programme Denzil Lush, who was the senior judge in the UK Court of Protection (COP) until July 2016, said that people should be far more aware of the risks involved in Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) arrangements and he would never sign one himself.

An LPA is a powerful legal document that allows you to choose the people you want to make decisions on your behalf when you lack the mental capacity to make those decisions. If you become incapable without making a LPA an application has to be made to the COP for someone to fulfil that role.  The person appointed is called the Deputy.  Whilst a Deputy is supervised by the COP the system is far more expensive and time consuming than completing a LPA. Provided that caution is exercised when appointing an Attorney I consider that on balance, the LPA is certainly the preferable route. However I would recommend that legal advice is sought from a solicitor who can advise to ensure that a well drafted LPA is created.

To speak to Greg Baker about any aspect of Probate Law please call 01733 295616 or email greg.baker@hegarty.co.uk.